Environmental administration in city-status local authorities in South Africa.
In this dissertation a study was undertaken of environmental administration in city-status local authorities in South Africa. Local authorities in South Africa constitute the third tier of government. They are established to provide essential goods and services to the community and to contribute to the national goal of community welfare. The services rendered by a local authority affects the quality of life of its inhabitants. South Africa is presently undergoing a period of transition and there are demands placed on local authorities to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants. Local authorities have become increasingly sensitive to environmental matters. Environmental administration plays a pivotal role in improving the quality of life of the community. In order that local authorities carry out their environmental functions efficiently and effectively, it is essential that the enabling generic administrative processes, managerial, functional, auxiliary and instrumental activities be instituted and executed. The enabling administrative processes include policy-making, organising, financing, staffing, determining methods and procedures and exercising of control. In the execution of these duties it is imperative that the normative factors, namely respect for environmental rights, ethics of environmental conservation, requirements of administrative law, maintenance of public accountability, fairness and reasonableness, efficiency and effectiveness and transparency and freedom of information be taken cognisance of. Attention was focused on the policy-making process emphasising environmental concepts and applications, environmental projects, pressing environmental issues, environmental awareness and external participation. Organisational structures in the form of committees are regarded essential to ensuring effective environmental administration. Appropriate and specific financial allocations are necessary for the environmental administration function. Well defined staffing practices are basic to ensuring that municipal functionaries involved in environmental administration achieve their objectives. Methods and procedures have to be constantly reviewed in the light of overall changes in environmental administration. The exercising of control is vital to ensure that the processes of environmental administration are performed within the context of the normative factors. The recommendations contained in the dissertation are directed at continuous review of environmental administration in local authorities within a conceptual framework which constitutes the following functions, policy-making, organising, financing, staffing, determining methods and procedures and exercising of control. Focus was placed on processes such as : (i) the formulation of environmental policy; (ii) designing separate organisational structures; (iii) specific budgetary allocations; (iv) the need for staffing practices to ensure that objectives are achieved; (v) the need for uniform and constant review of methods and procedures; and (vi) establishing codes of conduct relevant to environmental administration.